Celebrate Kindness Week with five acts of kindness
The eighth annual Kindness Week in Ottawa is officially underway after kicking off with a launch event Friday morning in Accora Village. This year’s theme is focused on youth in our community who are helping spread kindness in their schools and beyond. The Caring and Sharing Exchange, home of Kindness Week, will be recognizing some of the many amazing young people in our city who have shown kindness to others in big and small ways.
In light of the theme this year, the event Friday included the launch of local author Lindsey Barr’s first book, Planting a Garden of Kindness. This book is a guide for children to help them fill a year with weekly acts of kindness. Following are five acts of kindness from her guide to help inspire your children in celebrating Kindness Week 2015.
1 Picture for a Stranger
This is the perfect act of kindness to complete today! Have your child make a Valentine’s Day-themed drawing and bring it with you when you go out. Your child can then pick someone to give it to, or even drop it in a neighbour’s mailbox ... this will be guaranteed to brighten their day!
2 Hold the Door
This may seem like a natural impulse, but teaching your child to hold the door for others at an early age will help them make it a habit for life. Encourage your child to make a conscious effort to hold the door open for someone each day this week. Once they see the smiles and hear the words of thanks from those they hold the door for, they will likely never stop performing this everyday act of kindness.
3 Card for a Teacher
Teachers can have a big impact on the lives of the children in their classroom. Have your child make a thank-you card for their favourite teacher one day this week and have them write why they appreciate this teacher so much. Your child can show their thanks for other people in this way as well, such as a bus driver, a neighbour, a friend or a family member.
4 Package for a Shelter
While kindness does not have to cost anything at all, giving to charity (whether it is with a donation of time or money) is an invaluable lesson for children to learn. Take this opportunity to shop for and make a package for your local shelter and deliver it with your child. You can include seasonal items such as hats and gloves or even a fleece blanket, along with toiletries and food. Alternatively, you can simply donate some food to your local food bank.
5 Shovel for a Neighbour
At this time of year, snow is fun and exciting for most of the children in our city, but for those who are elderly or suffering from mobility issues, snow can be a constant burden. The next time there is a heavy snowfall, take your child with you to clear the driveway or walkway of a neighbour who could use the extra help. Your neighbour will be very grateful to have a break from this chore, and your child will be proud to accomplish this job.
These are just five of the 75 acts of kindness that are included in Barr’s guide, and there are of course hundreds of others.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with kindness!
Don’t forget, kindness is contagious. Share your stories and pictures of kindness on social media by using #kindottawa or email kindness@ caringandsharing.ca For more information on Kindness Week, visit www.kindottawa.ca. For more information on Lindsey Barr’s guide, visit www.worldchangingkids.ca